Laparoscopy is a type of surgery done using very small incisions. This
type of surgery is possible because of the
laparoscope (a long, slender tool with a camera and light). It lets your surgeon see
inside the abdomen. To perform the surgery, special instruments are inserted
into the abdomen through the small incisions. Pelvic laparoscopy is often
used to diagnose and treat the causes of pelvic problems, such as pain
and infertility. Laparoscopy often involves:
To prepare for surgery:
Tell your surgeon about any medications you take. Include herbs, supplements,
and over-the-counter medications. You may need to stop taking certain
medications, such as aspirin, for
2 weeks before surgery.
Do not eat or drink anything after the midnight before surgery.
Arrange for a ride home after surgery.
Before the Procedure
You will most likely be given general anesthesia to make you sleep during
the procedure. A catheter may be inserted to drain urine from the bladder.
How Pelvic Laparoscopy Is Done
One or more small (quarter- or half-inch) incisions are made near the navel
or the pubic hairline. The laparoscope is inserted through an incision.
It sends images to a video screen, allowing the surgeon a close-up view
of the organs. Gas is used to inflate the abdomen, allowing the surgeon
room to see and work. Depending on what is found, surgery to treat the
problem may be done at this time.
After the Procedure
You'll be taken to a post-op area to wake up and recover from anesthesia.
You may feel some shoulder pain. This is due to irritation from the gas
used to inflate the abdomen.
You may have some discharge from the vagina. If so, ask the nurse for a pad.
You will be asked to walk around to improve breathing and blood flow.
If you had a catheter, it will most likely be removed before you go home.
You can go home as soon as you recover from anesthesia and your condition
Your recovery from pelvic laparoscopy may take up to
2 weeks. While you recover, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
During this time:
Take pain medication as prescribed.
Start eating solid food when you feel ready. To avoid constipation, eat
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of fluids.
Don't lift anything over
20 pounds until your doctor says it's safe.
Take it easy for a few days. Ask your doctor when you can return to work,
exercise, and sex.
Arrange for a follow-up visit with your doctor to discuss the results of
Call your doctor if you:
Have chills, or a fever of
F or higher.
Notice that the incision is red, swollen, or draining.
Have heavy, bright-red vaginal bleeding or a smelly discharge.
Have difficulty urinating.
Experience severe abdominal pain or bloating.
Have leg pain, redness, or swelling.
Have persistent nausea or vomiting.
Are not improving daily.